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Physics The right physics field for me

  1. Sep 20, 2017 #1
    I have finished my masters degree in cosmology and my research was on inflation, despite it being interesting, I'm not really fond of doing simulations/computations using a computer for a very long time. Don't get me wrong, I know that every physicists should know at least some computational tool (to some degree but not necessarily an expert) but I just don't want to work on computers most of the time. I've also thought of doing a PhD in mathematical physics but I realized that I want to be rigorous in what I do but not to the level of what mathematicians do (e.g. proving the existence of Navier Stokes theorem). So I think my intention is in between those two differing fields. I have a background on the standard undergraduate and graduate physics curriculum plus GR (Carroll) and cosmology (some basic books plus papers).

    I just enjoy doing more sophisticated mathematics than the average physicist would enjoy (I enjoyed studying from Apostol, Lang, Edwards, etc) but I think it would also discourage me to do for example Papa Rudin's books. I'm currently reading Mathematical Physics by Szekeres and Hassani, and I think I like the flavor of it. Can anyone recommend the path I should take and what are the current fields/topics that I can look into if it will interest me. I'm planning on doing a PhD in Europe preferably in Germany, Sweden, or Ireland.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What exactly do you want to do in terms of everyday work?

    - most physicists use computers most of the time
    - some physicists use pen and paper, but that is the mathematical physics part you didn't want.
    - working on setups in a lab? That is far away from cosmology, and potential PhD supervisors will probably want some prior lab experience if that is the main part of the work.
    - field work? See lab work, but even more removed from cosmology.
  4. Sep 21, 2017 #3
    Well, I think I'm more in the middle of the first and second choice. I want to work most of the time with pen and paper but a LITTLE BIT of computational side wouldn't bother me so much, what I'm not really into is using computers to simulate or do calculations the whole time. As for mathematical physics, it's not that I don't want it but I'm reluctant because I feel as though I'm not up to that level yet (in terms of mathematical maturity/sophistication) that is why I think I'm somehow in the middle of those two differing fields. I'm trying to do some searching on the latest topics on theoretical physics that would somehow fit my preference but I need some advice to enhance my view on this matter. I've worked on inflation, specifically doing computations for the temperature evolution, energy density evolution, gravitational wave intensity, etc.
  5. Sep 21, 2017 #4
    There is a community that works on the AdS-CFT correspondence, perhaps some branch of that would be interesting for you.
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